Nest & Heart

Leaping from my previous blog, I’d like to inform you, my beautiful and kind readers, that I have found my person.

I’m sure you really want to stay up to date on my love life, but what the hell. Why not? It should give you some insight on what’s going on and why I haven’t been posting much about my writings lately.

In my current evolution and self discovery, I have found that it is entirely healthy to speak about your previous persons because they are a part of who you are. There is no shame and you can’t negate a long stretch of time in your life. There is no redacting or even white out for that stuff. So, I will talk. Get used to it.

If you’ve been keeping up with my latest rants, you’ll know that my previous boyfriend (of nine years) and I split up in 2016. It was one of the toughest moments in my life. We had grown up together. Our families considered each other as relatives respectively. Mine still do and I have absolutely no qualms with that. We just spent way longer on something that probably should have stopped about year seven. We were great friends. Some day, we will get back to that.

Forward.

I waited a while before really getting involved with someone new. I didn’t think it would be fair to the next person if I was still upset over my break-up. About five months afterward, I started in the dating scene. I was feeling much better after the major holidays and I wanted to see what was out there. There were a couple of significant people who came in, but things just weren’t quite right, people were getting hurt, and I really didn’t want to be retracing steps. So, I pulled away for a while. I really spent time for myself and didn’t think about dating again. I eventually became bored.

I went online and ran into Patrick. A hopeless romantic with deep hooks into his inner child. Very intelligent, never serious. Someone who adores my smart assery and always tries to beat me to the punch. An adventurous spirit with whom I am totally in love with. It didn’t take long either. Both of us knew on the first date that it was serious. I even made the first move and kissed him an hour later! It has been just like breathing. Everything so natural and there never was any doubt with either of us on if we should be together. He said those three words by the fourth date. There’s no looking back now!

This bled into an interesting and eventful first year for us. We moved into a tiny apartment together. We adopted a dog together. Took so many trips together and I proposed to him a month after our first anniversary. I didn’t spare anything either. We’ve just moved into a large house where we are so excited to continue this adventure. Soon, we will be married and jauntily moving into the rest of our lives. I am so much more in love with him than that first month (I know that’s so cliche to say) and it couldn’t be more obvious. I found my happy. I finally found it.

I’ll end my update here, but I’m sure you’ll hear more about Patrick later.

A brief story: The Argument (rough)

He adjusted his tie. Dad always tied it too tight. Especially when he was wrought with worry. He coughed when the pressure released itself from his Adam’s apple.

Such a peculiar term, he thought. He opened his mouth and faced the passenger seat as if he were to process that thought into words, but his mouth dried. And in his forgetfulness, he sighed a very sad sigh. His shoulders slumped heavily and he readjusted his grip to the steering wheel of their very old but very loved Ford Focus.

Light stung his eyes in his awful posture, so he lowered the visor. The CD sleeve still held all of their favorite albums and even a couple of burned mixes. Taking the disc most decorated with pastel sharpie, he shoved it into the aftermarket player in the ash-covered dash.

“Ooh La La” by the Faces boomed from the old speakers. The very first song. The most important song. It reminded him to never leave angry, but he did anyway. The silence after their argument was deafening. Maybe this will drown it out, he hoped.

I love this song, she thought while staring out the window and hummed. Her clenched, interloping fingers loosened as the wave of the song’s chorus softened her anger. She sat in the passenger seat, in silence with her twin who was dressed, “to the nines.”

Arguments between them were rare. They were twins after all.  They knew each other more than anyone else. However few, their arguments were vicious. Mostly because neither wanted to believe that they didn’t agree to something — that the other couldn’t understand one’s reasoning. This argument was just that.

She felt compelled to apologize and make amends. The day was dreary enough. The fog was so thick it clung to the windows like wisps of cotton candy. The buildings and traffic lights barely pierced its veil once within a certain distance. It was like something from a bad horror movie using too much dry ice.

She turned to her brother with a shabby smile and asked, “Why so gloomy?”

Startled, he slammed the brakes and jerked his sight to the passenger seat. His sister’s grin faded like fog in the sunlight and an unexplainable wind pushed the remaining funeral programs from the seat to the floorboard.

His chest heaved as his breath caught up with him, panting as the papers all flipped to the picture of him and his sister.

 

 

It’s all fruit: Traditional versus Self Publication

Good Day, lovelies! Since I mentioned the aforementioned title in my previous post, I thought I would proceed with my thoughts on why I chose self publication over traditional. For the newbs out there who are interested in the joys of writing; apples or oranges, it really is all fruit. what I mean is both paths are going to take a great deal of work on your behalf. There is no easy path.

Be prepared for the awful misconceptions out there. First, you are a writer the very day that you start gliding that pen across paper or tapping away at that keyboard. The instant you step into the world inside your head and transcribe it for the rest of us to see, you are a f*cking writer. DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. Being established does not mean that you have to have a book ready to purchase in order to gain the title. You are what you have always been. Own it!

Second, you do not have to be traditionally published in order for you to have validity or credibility as an author. Thanks to technology, we now have the opportunity to have our works published faster, and the ability to reach more readers in a matter of minutes.

Okay. Now that we’ve cleared that up… On with the show.

Like many Indie Authors, I hungrily researched others down their paths to publication and beyond. I read articles, watch videos, read books, et cetera. I have weighed the pros and cons and went full speed at self publication. The biggest reason? I wanted complete control over my manuscript and creative rights. Now, that’s not to say that when you traditionally publish, you don’t have a say-so in anything. That isn’t true. But, like with most things, your publishing house is investing in your work and like all investors, they want to have their hand at steering the ship. My story was 20 years in the making and I would be having none of that, sir.

The positive side to traditional publishing, though, is that you have someone else putting in the time and money on the finished product. Someone else does the marketing for you. They setup interviews, book signings, book conventions, and anything else that promotes your book. But you do have to do some dirty work yourself. Writing query letters and sending out your manuscript, your baby, to people who know nothing about you or has any care on how hard you worked to make it just right. You have to be able to deal with criticisms and rejections.

Alternately, with self publication, a ll of that time, effort, and money is coming from you. If you’re someone like me, money isn’t easy to come by and this stuff is not cheap at all. Thank goodness for CreateSpace, as I would still be scratching my head on how to get Charlee out on the shelf. When you’re outsourcing the services (as you should) like editing or cover art, it all adds up. You’re employing someone and you have to pay for their time. By the way, I love my cover artist, Lyn at LV Book Design.

#shamelessplug #loveplug

Here are two ladies that I follow on YouTube religiously. These are collaboration videos with these two routes.

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing a book is not just an art, it’s a business. No joke… Tax forms and everything. You learn it very quickly and I won’t lie, it is a tad bit discouraging at first. Don’t let it stop you from pushing that book baby from your literary vagina brain and sharing it with the rest of us. Go ahead. gestate that novel, post pics of it online like it’s the best thing you’ve ever done with your life (because it probably is), you stand atop that author platform you’ve built, holding up your pure paper creation by the spine, and make us roll our eyes at you wallowing in your accomplishment and smile with pride!

Why I stopped the sale of my book.

Happy Valentine’s day, my loves! It’s been a few weeks since my last post, but do not fret. I have been busy with getting this second book entirely finished and working on all the fun things that come with self publishing. I plan to write an article on what I have found to be the trials of self publishing and why I didn’t traditionally publish.

I digress…

I’m sure the title of this post has you a bit alarmed and you may think terrible things like sales were awful and I became discouraged. Quite the opposite, actually. I sold quite a few books in my first year which isn’t bad for having to do all the ground work yourself. As you have read and I have documented, 2016 & 2017 were years that forced my life to take routes that I wasn’t expecting. I was absent from here and much of my writing life (which hurt my heart so much).

While I was out fighting battles and waging war, something funny happened to my book.

You see, there are a number of ways to self publish, but one of the most convenient ways is to publish with the best online book seller out there; Amazon. CreateSpace is fantastic when it comes to helping people like me get the job done. I have several critique partners and other authors who have used this service and find it to be the best option for writers like me. Unlike B&N you don’t have to pay someone to read your stuff and anxiously await approval for it to hit the shelf. They print to order rather than printing a pile of books and killing the environment. Amazing, right? Well, sort of.

One of the biggest headaches with their site at the time was the downloadable template and the actual template in which they used to upload your book into their database. If you had already formatted your book, be prepared to format six additional times. I spent two weeks on BTC to clean her up just as the Internal Viewer suggested. It was tedious work, but I had come that far and wasn’t going to let this one tiny, meticulous act get in the way.

The good news? Enough reports forced Amazon to update their template. The bad news? Every single one of us who had already published with the old one were now out of format. The results were multiple blank pages, sentences in places they didn’t belong, chopped up paragraphs and chapters, et cetera. I didn’t find out until the beginning of January 2017 with a review that informed me there was an issue. When I asked my abused critique partner, she knew all about it and had assumed I did as well.

Whoops!

I immediately pulled the book off the shelf and have set it aside to correct the errors, but it looks like the damage was already done. Some of you have emailed or messaged me on Facebook asking where you could buy the book. I apologize that I did it without warning and I should have posted about it much sooner. Never the less, she will be back! Charlee is my baby! She’s just getting a face lift 🙂

In the meantime, I have revamped my website HERE. There, you can see the cover of my new book that’s coming out this year as well as the new cover for Charlee! Check it out!

Stay safe. Be well. Love with everything.

So, you want to be a writer…

Hey! So, you want to be a writer! Fantastic! Go you, you Wordy-Wordsmith-Wendy, you! Not only are you talented in the art of typing or jiggling a stick around on a piece of paper, but you create elaborate pictures in someone’s mind and take them on amazing, heart-wrenching adventures! Hooray for no commercials! You and the Thesaurus are in a long-term, heavily involved relationship and everyone knows it. Congratulations!

But hold up, you hopeless romantic day-dreamer! Sure, you have fallen in love with a writing career and have often fantasize being stuck in a mahogany study, filled with walls of your favorite authors (and maybe a few of your own pieces on display). Possibly including an antique type writer, a bubble pipe, tweed coat, and horn-rimmed glasses to profoundly state your chosen profession. Nerd <3! I’m sure that novel is going to be a best seller one day, but to obtain things of this magnitude, have you thought about all the logistics? Have you thought about the hard work, long hours, and what it will take to force yourself to write every day, even when you’re eyes start to cross at 6,000 words? Editing can be a rough process. Can you do it yourself, or are you emotionally stable enough to pay someone else to critique you? Be honest. Do you know what genre you’re aiming for? Do you know what a beta reader is? What about your marketing skills?

The truth is: The writing is probably the easiest part. Especially if writing is a natural talent for you. It won’t be easy if you’re an introvert. You’ll have to learn how to market not just your work, but yourself as an author. Unfortunately, it’s all a business. You have to sell your art to people. Even if you only ever dream to just write purely for the  entertainment of others. If you wish to publish, you have to determine if you and your work should go through traditional publishing, or self publish. Either way, you’re going to suffer through a lot of rejection, criticism, and disappointment. Be prepared, my darlings.

All of those things only make you a better writer, though. Never take critiques personally. Accept and build upon them to make your work better; to make you better at what you love to do. No one ever writes their first piece and have it fly off the shelves the instant it prints on a page. You will struggle, and you will need to keep your expectations low.

Do not let this discourage you. EVER. I will promise you this: When you receive your first amazing review from a complete stranger, you will instantly feel that validation high. And you will want to keep striving. It will be a glorious rainbow built on coffee, lack of sleep, stress, and your fantasmical talent. It is totally worth every single bit.

Keep going. Strive on, you nerdiful pencil artists. Happy New Year! XO

Bizarre Prosperity

I don’t know how to describe the past two years, honestly. The title of this blog is all that I could come up with. It’s true, I haven’t been doing so well with the upkeep of this author blog, but that’s because my life has been evolving so dramatically since April of last year. I have grown so much as a person (as told by my previous blog). I have been dragged through the mud quite a bit, but I can tell you that my viewpoint has shifted since shedding that old skin and rising into a phoenix. Whenever I get shoved back down, I have my moment of self pity, but it is quickly over taken by thoughts of progress. Looking for every possible route or every possible outcome from that moment forward. There’s that word. Forward.

Somewhere along this road, I realized that the only person who would be holding me back in times like these, was me. I would wallow and induce episodes of self loathing. I was the one making my life miserable. And somehow, I figured it out. It dawned on me that life is honestly too short to short yourself. I want what I want because they mean something to me. I have to put in the work to get it.

About a decade ago, I had dreamed of living in a city where there was always movement. I wanted to be taken in by its current and move with it, breathe with it, thrive. I had spent my early years learning the value of everything I’m given. Everything in a much slower pace where people were complacent on staying right where they were because it never changed. But I didn’t want that. I wanted change. The curious little girl who stood in those woods behind my house and monitored plants and the earth as it changed with the seasons. I understood then that change was inevitable. Change is as inevitable as death. You can’t choose to die. You can’t choose to change. And while others are so happy with shielding their eyes and missing out on change, I craved it.

I have gone back to Kentucky several times since my move back to the South. Probably more so than any year I lived in Michigan. Each time, though it’s comforting to go back to some place that is familiar and you feel love, I don’t really feel like I belong there. Don’t get me wrong, it will always be home, but I feel somewhat like I’ve outgrown it. I worry that I may not ever feel comfortable with the idea of going back permanently. My gypsy spirit kicks into overdrive with the mere thought.

So, here I am. Living in another large city where no one here is from here. I rarely encounter Atlanta natives. Everyone has their own stories of why they are here, in this moment, and it’s all because of change. That must be why it feels more like home.

 

Passing

I have lots of story ideas that I jot down and keep locked away on a password protected interface. Sometimes, I leave them here, to finish and post them to you, my viewers. This is one of them, only it was just the title. Months have gone by and I have forgotten what it was for. Some passing thought or dream, surely. Possibly another blog about missing my dad.

Now, the title is ironically judging me. Scouring in the corner that I’ve left it in, spitting the dust back to the floor. It lurks, looking over other blogs that I have so lovingly written, lamenting over indescernable sentiments. No matter how much I promise that it wasn’t my intent to leave it for so long. So, here I am, coercing it back into my keyboard, caressing it with soft words and thumb taps. Generating something into existence.

When I was young, I fell in love with someone who set my soul on fire. He claimed I filled his lungs with fresh air. Things came crashing down two years later and I learned a hard lesson. Many moons afterward, we spoke and I gained my closure. Our love was still there, still real and we both felt it. One of the last things he ever said was, “We may never see, we may never speak, but you will always be a passing thought.”

I’m still not sure how I feel about it.